Yes, Hawaiʻi is a US state, but it is the most isolated land mass in the world. In the center of the Pacific it has influence from all it's neighbors, including island cultures you probably never heard of, like Chuuk and Palau, along with Japan, Korea, China, New Zealand, Austrailia, and so many others.
In addition if you spend the time to research the history of Hawaiʻi you will find strong roots of a kingdom which, like Kilauea, lives just under the surface and has a strong influence on life here. As such it is best to treat the culture with as much respect as any foreign country.
Here is rundown of Campus Culture. Though there is a fair amount of overlap with Island Culture there are some defined differences.
If you're from the mainland... Congratulations! You are now a minority. Wierd, we know. But it's a wonderful experience to be on the other side of this coin..
UH Hilo: At a Glance
Fast Facts 2014
|Degrees Awarded (2013-14)|
|Baccalureate (BA, BAS, BS, etc)||665|
|Professional Practice (JD, MD, Darch,PharmD)||83|
|Mean Age in Years||25.0|
|Gender (full-time students)|
Student Diversity (full-time students)
Figures from the Institutional Research & Analysis Office; Fall 2014.
With International Night every spring, and clubs for all these diverse cultures it's like living in Epcot's World Showcase or International Conferences every day. Consider it an opportunity to be immersed in cultures the world over.
In 2014, the University of Hawaiʻi was rated the most diverse campus in the United States by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Exploring the Island
Even if you don't have a car there are several ways to go out and see the island. Making friends with locals is certainly an option, also joining clubs which go on adventures.
If you find yourself bored here it's probably because you're locking yourself in your room and only studying or hanging out on campus. You may want to try Outdoor EDventures which takes you on field trips on Saturdays and Sundays, down to South Point, over to Hapuna Beach on Kona side, kayaking, hiking, stargazing on Mauna Kea, etc. For more information visit the Outdoor EdVenture page.